Sep 9, 2017; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones congratulates his players during the second half against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee defeated Indiana State 42-7. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

SEC Preview: Struggling Tennessee Hosts South Carolina

This weekend, the Tennessee Volunteers will host South Carolina at Neyland Stadium. The Vols are in desperate need of their first SEC win as they take on the Gamecocks.

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This season the Volunteers and Gamecocks are headed in completely different directions as teams. The Gamecocks coming off a 6-7 season, 3-5 in conference last year. Currently, they are already well on their way to improving those marks from last year.

South Carolina sits at 4-2 overall on the year, 2-2 in conference play halfway through the season. The Gamecocks have solidified their quarterback position with sophomore Jake Bentley. Bentley has performed well this year, accounting for over 1,400 yards, 12 touchdowns and only four interceptions.

On the other hand, Tennessee has not been improving this season. The Volunteers are currently 3-2 on the season and still without an SEC win after losses to Florida and Georgia.

Not much has gone right for Tennessee. The last time the Volunteers took the field, they were shutout for the first time since 1994. Tennessee also suffered their worst home loss since 1905 when they lost to the Georgia Bulldogs 41-0.

This loss led to Tennessee to reevaluate their entire team headed into their bye week.

New Look Volunteers

After a disappointing start to the season, head coach Butch Jones announced during the Tennessee bye week that there would be a new face under center for the Vols.  The Volunteers are moving on from junior quarterback Quinten Dormady for freshman Jarrett Guarantano.

Guarantano has gone 12-of-24 for 54 yards passing with one touchdown and no interceptions while backing up Dormady this season. Tennessee hopes this change at quarterback will be the spark they need to get their offense moving, but the team realizes it isn’t all about the quarterback.

Improvements need to made all across the board if Tennessee is going to get that first conference win. Tennessee is currently next to last offensively in the SEC, only averaging 24.2 points per game. Meanwhile, defensively, the team is allowing over 30 points per game.

Kickoff is set for noon on Saturday and coverage of the game will be on ESPN.

About Anthony Crum

Telecommunications Social Media and Society Major. Avid sports fan, Scott Hanson has my dream job.

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